Investigator: Suspect in Scratch Kitchen shooting is a gang member

An Ocean Springs investigator said the suspect in The Scratch Kitchen and Bar shooting on May 5 was a part of a gang that is spread throughout Harrison and Jackson counties.

Capt. Ryan LeMaire took the stand Friday morning in a hearing to decide whether to grant a permanent injunction against The Scratch Kitchen and Bar. The hearing comes in the aftermath of a shooting on May 5 that left six injured — including the suspect — and one man, 19-year-old Chayse Harmon — dead.

Video evidence was played while LeMaire testified. He said the suspected shooter — identified as Fa’Darius Williams — is a member of a gang called Wicked and was at the restaurant and bar about 20 minutes before shots were fired. LeMaire said Williams had a pistol with an extended clip. Officers found five shell casings.

The investigator said The Scratch Kitchen had broken multiple city ordinances, including outside alcohol and marijuana on the premises.

Ocean Springs called in Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Biloxi Police Department officers to help while aiding the injured. He also said that officers were assaulted when they arrived on scene.

When LeMaire was asked what could be done to keep the community safe, he said there was nothing they could do — except shut down The Scratch Kitchen and Bar.

Court went into recess before The Scratch Kitchen and Bar owner Brittany Alexander and her attorney began their cross examination of LeMaire.

During cross-examination, LeMaire said police have not found the weapon used in the shooting. Shell casings from a .40 caliber and a 10 mm were found.

Ocean Springs Fire Chief Derek McCoy also testified and said The Scratch Kitchen had  been cited for a code violation for being over capacity for its 1-year anniversary celebration on April 8. The restaurant also was over capacity on April 15 and on May 5 — the night of the shooting.

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